From the Jacket
Song of the Loom demonstrates how brilliantly the tradition of Navajo weaving continues to flourish in our time. This full-color volume surveys a collection that includes many twentieth-century masterpieces, with a particularly strong representation of ceremonial Chant Weaves based on sacred sand paintings, including three complete Chants (fourteen designs from the Great Star Chant, five from the Red Ant Way, and four from the Coyote Way).
The text explores the Navajo weaving tradition, with extensive discussion of its history, techniques, and materials, and its relation to religion. Further information is provided in brief biographies (with photographs) of many of the fifty-five weavers represented, a glossary, and a bibliography.
The heart of Song of the Loom is the sequence of magnificent colorplates, each accompanied by full data on the weaver, her locale, and the work's size, yarn count, style, function, material, and date. These superb textiles demonstrate the continuum of Navajo weaving and the surprising variety in color and design produced by the finest contemporary artists in a great tradition.
Song of the Loom is published in conjunction with an exhibition organized by the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; it will also be shown at the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.
Frederick J. Dockstader was formerly director of the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, New York, and is presently Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe. He is a leading authority on Native American art and the author of many of the standard books in the field.